When my mom and dad first decided to come to Arizona to help us get settled, their one request was to visit the Grand Canyon. At first, I told them I wouldn’t have enough time between starting work and organizing the house. Then I remembered two things. First, they were paying for a flight to come help us move in. The least I could do was give them one day to make a memory on this trip. Second, time is a choice and I could in fact make time for this and let me tell you, I’m glad I did.
The Grand Canyon is about 3 hours from our house in Phoenix. For those of you in Indy, it’s basically the distance from Indy to Chicago. We decided to head up on Saturday to see the South Rim. The Grand Canyon has so much to do and see, so I’d recommend planning your trip in advance and maybe spend a day or two exploring.
We only had a couple of hours to visit this wonder because I didn’t want to leave Collin, who stayed back to paint cabinets, alone for dinner. When you drive into the park, you’ll pay a $35 fee for your vehicle which gives you access to the entire park. Once you pass those gates, the road you continue along will take you to the visitor’s center on the South Rim. We did have some trouble parking because it was so crowded and apparently, they’ve had snow and rain this year so this was one of the first nice days. When we finally snagged a spot and started walking, I couldn’t help but take it all in.
Holy cow. We were at the Grand Canyon and we’d just driven to this insanely beautiful creation in my car from our new house. I’ve had several of these moments since our move, but this was the first big one that left me feeling overjoyed. We wandered up to the first lookout called Mather’s Point and my jaw dropped. That probably seems cliché, but this thing was so big and beautiful that I couldn’t believe it was real. No joke, it looked like a painting.
My next thought as we started to walk along the rim was “I can see how people fall in.” Then we saw people basically rock climbing with no gear to a point with an optimum view. If they gated the rim, it would take away from the beauty of this place so climb at your own risk I guess.
Mom and I got a little adventurous climbing to a couple of points that didn’t require much effort or leave us feeling like we could fall, but man you can see so far down. We spent two full hours just walking the South Rim and we didn’t even see it all.
When we go back, I’d like to camp overnight and raft at the bottom of the canyon because doesn’t that sound amazing? I’d suggest getting to the canyon early in the day and plan to stay until sunset because I imagine that would be beautiful.
Pro tip for first time visitors: gas stations and cell service are limited. There is a small area with hotels, a Starbucks, and a gas station in the park, but just know this going in so you don’t run out of gas. I’d also suggest wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots to help keep you stable.
If this infamous spot is on your list, book your trip or at least make plans to book it because the beauty is truly something words and images cannot convey.
Cheers to the next journey in Arizona,